Police say no explosives were found at NEA Baptist Hospital

Jonesboro, AR (KAIT) -- "If there would have been some kind of explosive device in the bag, the high pressure water charge would have disrupted that. It would have prevented the device from blowing.  After doing so, there was no explosive device in this bag," said Jonesboro Police Lt. Rick Elliott.

The Arkansas State Police Bomb Squad determined there were no explosives found after a man walked into NEA Baptist Hospital Monday afternoon and said he had a bomb in a backpack.

38-year-old Cyril Aston is in police custody after police say he made those threats. He is being evaluated by mental health professionals with the possibility of criminal charges pending.   Police say in his backpack they found a liquor bottle, a meat cleaver, and a TV remote with wires wrapped around it. While it turned out to be harmless-- Jonesboro Police say they were not going to take any chances.

"Anytime that you have someone that threatens to utilize an explosive device and in fact you do find a suspicious package, you have to take that a little more serious than just a regular bomb threat," said Jonesboro Police Chief, Mike Yates.

Tense moments Monday afternoon after police say a man walked into the NEA Baptist emergency room and said he had a backpack with a bomb and was going to kill himself.

"After a few minutes, police arrived on scene.  We managed to take him into custody. He has since changed his story about what is in the backpack," said Yates.

Not taking any chances, police say the emergency room was evacuated.  Jonesboro Police, Arkansas State Police, and Emergency Management officials responded to the call and waited for the bomb squad to arrive from Little Rock to determine what exactly was in the backpack.

"He's had some past history of similar behavior," said Yates.

Chief Yates says Monday's response is protocol for such a situation.  He says in light of recent mass killings across the United States, it's proof you can't take any chances when someone makes a threat like that.

Holly Acebo with NEA Baptist tells Region 8 news, the emergency room is back up and running and they are seeing patients as normal.